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Italy Misses World Cup for First Time Since 1958

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The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

But Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist believes they can cause a big upset in front of over 65,000 Italians.

However, unwilling to let this show of disrespect slide, the 39-year-old goalkeeper clapped all the way through the anthem to counteract his supporters' jeers.

Losing the first leg 1-0 in Stockholm last week, many would've backed Italy to overcome Sweden in a packed San Siro Stadium in Milan on Monday night.

The Juventus stopper, who is widely considered one of the best goalkeepers ever, has said he will retire from worldwide duty once the current campaign ends.

Sweden were rated nearly no chance of progressing to the finals, but the 25th-ranked team progressed to the play-off on goal difference, finishing second in their group ahead of the Netherlands and four points behind France.

Italy, who are now ranked 15th in the world, had an ordinary qualification campaign, finishing second in their group.

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The 39-year-old Buffon - bidding to reach a record sixth World Cup Finals in Russian Federation - is one of the last survivors of Italy's golden generation of 2006 World Cup winners.

To avoid maintaining their remarkable sequence of World Cup appearances, they face the game against Sweden amid an atmosphere of what 'keeper Buffon has described as "high tension".

"When incidents go badly for you, it's probably your own fault too and if it goes well, you earned your luck". Italy failed to make it out of the Group Stage in 2014. "There's regret at finishing like that, not because time passes", Buffon said after the result. I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something. I don't want to think it's the game of life but I'm convinced that, with the help of the fans, we will do it.

The 0-0 draw saw the continuation of an unusual quirk in World Cup qualifying.

Sweden did not shine at all in the first leg but did manage to get the favorable 1-0 win with a goal by Jakob Johansson off the bench.

What TV channel is Italy vs Sweden on?

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